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Hiding Chain Link Fences

Using Plants to Hide a Chain Link Fence

Our neighborhood is made up of 1/2 acre lots, many of which use chain link fences to divide the properties.  While this type of fence is great to keep our German Shepherd dogs enclosed, it is not so great to look at.

One of my projects for my test garden was to do something to hide the chain link fence that is very visible from our patio setting.

How to Hide a Chain Link Fence with Shrubs and Plants

This is one piece of chain link fence with no flower beds near it as it was last year.

Chain link fence Further down this fence where my test garden starts, I started by planting forsythia bushes that my neighbor had dug up and discarded. My husband just used an axe to chop them into pieces and I planted the pieces of forsythia all along the fence where the upright supports are located.

Chain link fence with forsythiasThen I dug up the sod by hand and planted some rose bushes and a few other plants along the border of the fence and put a bird bath in the center. It was only about 5  feet wide at this stage.

Test garden last yearNext we tilled a long additional six foot wide swath of dirt and I dug up the sod.

new dirt areaI planted annuals (lots of zinnias), sunflowers against the back border, hollyhocks, more rose bushes, a Washington Hawthorne Tree, Gladioli by the basketful, and many other perennials and annuals.   A large elephant ear plant hides a lot of the fence and I found this growing in my compost pile!

This year the fence is almost hidden from our view when we are sitting on the deck.  Here is a front view:

Chain link fence almost hiddenI loved the way our neighbor’s trees now seem like a part of our property!  By next year, I don’t think we will see that fence at all.

Update on my fence line.  My row of forsythia bushes are large enough now to almost hide the whole fence line.  The flowers come out first and then the leaves follow and go a great job of hiding the fence for the whole of the summer.  What an amazing burst of spring time sunshine! See my tips for growing forsythia bushes here.

Forsythia bushes along a fence line


What tips do you have for hiding your fence?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.


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Sunday 3rd of January 2021

I am starting a similar project this spring. I love what you have done.


Tuesday 6th of August 2019

I like your tip about putting rose bushes in front of the chain-link fence. It might also be a good idea to put vines over the top. I'll have to consider getting plants to cover up my fence.


Monday 25th of March 2019

thank you looks great

lauren e rowe

Monday 17th of July 2017

I am doing a similar fence-hiding project with forsythia, perennials, and annuals & this is very encouraging. Thank you for photos and details.


Tuesday 18th of July 2017

Hi Lauren. This year my chain link fence is totally hidden. The forsythias are 3 years old and cover it completely, at least during 3 months of the year. Carol

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